Caerleon Wales 

Today we traveled to the Celtic Manor in Newport Wales. Along the way, we encountered a diversion along the motorway due to a bike ride marathon which shut down the road. We entered towns like Newport-on-Usk and Caerleon. Both towns were originally ancient Roman Forts. 

Situated on the River Usk in the northern outskirts of the city of Newport, South Wales. Caerleon is a site of archaeological importance, being the site of a notable Roman legionary fortress, Isca Augusta, and an Iron Age hill forts. 

Caerleon has been associated with Arthur’s ‘Round-Table’ element of the tales; and has been suggested as a possible source for the legendary King. 

“For it was located in a delightful spot in Glamorgan, on the River Usk, not far from the Severn Sea. 

  
Abounding in wealth more than other cities, it was suited for such a ceremony. For the noble river I have named flows along it on one side, upon which the kings and princes who would be coming from overseas could be carried by ship. 

 
But on the other side, protected by meadow and woods, it was remarkable for royal palaces, so that it imitated Rome in the golden roofs of its buildings… 

  
Famous for so many pleasant features, Caerleon was made ready for the announced feast.” (Historia Regum Britanniae “History of the Kings of Britain”)

  
Though the huge scale of the ruins along with Caerleon’s importance as an urban centre in early medieval Kingdom of Gwent may have inspired Geoffrey, the main historical source for Arthur’s link with “the camp of the legion” is the list of the twelve battles of Arthur in the 9th century Historia Brittonum. 
  
References:

Hando, F.J., (1951) “Journeys in Gwent”, R. H. Johns, Newport: Chapter 2 – The Mari Llwyd at Caerleon.

Ottaway, Patrick; Michael Cyprien (1987). A traveller’s guide to Roman Britain. Historical Times. p. 35. ISBN 978-0-918678-19-5.

Castleden, Rodney (1999). King Arthur: The Truth Behind the Legend. Routledge. p. 148. ISBN 978-0-415-19575-1.

Keith Fitzpatrick-Matthews, “The Arthurian Battle List” http://www.scribd.com/doc/35181158/The-Arthurian-Battle-List-of-the-Historia-Brittonum-July-2010

Caerleon Net – Caerleon and Arthur

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